Rockwell Collins’ $400K F-35 Helmet

The F-35 Generation III Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) manufactured by Rockwell Collins is the world’s most advanced biocular helmet-mounted display system—bringing unprecedented visual capability to the world’s most advanced tactical aircraft. Notably, it is also the world’s most expensive helmet. The cost of each custom-made helmet is more than $400,000 USD. This special helmet has been designed to provide pilots with revolutionary situational awareness. The main features of the helmet, which has a custom liner for precise fit and comfort, include virtual head-up display, high accuracy tracking with auto-boresighting, active noise reduction, digital night vision sensor, and much more. Its integrated head-up display is the first to provide pilots with all the critical information they need on the helmet’s visor ensuring that every mission, day or night, is supported with unsurpassed situational awareness, tactical capability and safety. When a pilot looks down, he usually sees the floor of the aircraft. With the Rockwell Collins helmet, instead of seeing the floor of the airplane, he sees the world below him external to the aircraft. If the pilot looks up or behind him, he sees the sky.

Essentially, the pilot is seeing the world through the eyes of his plane. In the words of Al Norman, an F-35 test pilot for Lockheed Martin, “When the helmet’s tuned correctly to the pilot’s eyes, you almost step into this other world where all this information comes in. You can look through the jet’s eyeballs to see the world as the jet sees the world.” Although the helmet’s development has hit a few bumps in the road, it is back on track to make a huge impact. According to Norman, recent flights have shown that progress on the helmet is continuing as well. Many of the previous issues have been resolved, but there are still issues with the green glow, and the way the pilots see the images projected on the visor.
“There’s still a little bit of tweaking we might want to do with how we stitch together the imagery,” he said. “Testing is an ongoing process. And if you find problems we try to fix them and look ahead.”
Headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Rockwell Collins Inc. is an international company that primarily provides avionics and information technology systems and services to governmental agencies and aircraft manufacturers. Via our proprietary website ASAP AOG Services, ASAP Semiconductor carries widest range of Rockwell Collins products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive inventory of hard-to-find obsolete and current Rockwell Collins parts at If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at  or 1-714-705-4780 for a quote.


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